From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Four years ago, teen suicide became an epidemic, affecting one in every three teens. To combat it, a school district in Oregon developed "The Program," where teens are treated for their depression by erasing their memories and secluding them from their peers. As an increasing number of her classmates are taken away for treatment, 17-year-old Sloane Barstow knows better than to show emotion to anyone other than her boyfriend, James, especially since her brother drowned himself two years earlier, leaving her parents constantly on edge. But when her friend commits suicide and James is taken away, Sloane begins to slip into a depression that forces her into The Program, where she is gradually stripped of all memories of James and her past. As she struggles to start over, she finds herself questioning the integrity of The Program and why she is inexplicably drawn to a troublemaker named James. The story is intriguing, and while a little slow at times, teens will find themselves racing to the finish to see what happens to Sloane and James. Young has created strong characters that readers will fall in love with and has developed a captivating world that will not soon be forgotten. Recommend this one to fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Veronica Roth's Divergent (both HarperCollins, 2011).-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Imagine that suicide is a contagious condition affecting only teenagers. The early warning signs are negative emotions, depression, and despair, and infected teens are driven quickly to the point where they can think of nothing but suicide. This is Sloane’s world. She watched her beloved brother kill himself before her eyes. If not for the love of her boyfriend, James, Sloane is sure that she would kill herself, too. But she and James have vowed to each other that they will fight the disease, and love and comfort each other through grief. Teens seen demonstrating negative emotions are reported to The Program, where they receive the cure for the suicide infection but at a terrible cost. When Sloane finds herself swept into The Program, she realizes with a growing dread that everyone seems to know more than she does. Readers will devour this fast-paced story that combines an intriguing premise, a sexy romance, and a shifting landscape of truth. With big questions still unanswered and promising twists, this first volume in a new series will leave readers primed for more. Compare to Lauren Oliver’s Delirium or Ally Condie’s Matched series. Grades 10-12. --Diane Colson